CREEMORE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 24, 2012) - Central Ontario will be able to enjoy more of its own home grown produce with the help of a new Harper Government investment. Member of Parliament Dr. Kellie Leitch (Simcoe-Grey), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment for a study by the Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture (SCFA) that will analyze the feasibility of establishing a food distribution hub or centre that would serve the area and surrounding region.
"Our government is helping strengthen the connection between agriculture and the consumer by making healthy locally-grown food more accessible," said Dr. Leitch. "This project will help build a strong and sustainable food system which will encourage investment in the agricultural sector and directly benefit the Simcoe County area and its growing economy."
This investment of $78,500 will help the SCFA study the supply, demand, location, business structure and on-going operation of a local food hub. All commodity groups, including livestock and poultry, field crops and horticulture will be considered. The results of the study could provide various models for creating a food distribution system that would be accessible to a wide range of local buyers from large institutional food service companies to small private businesses.
"The development of a local food distribution system has been consistently identified as an opportunity to increase market opportunity for farmers and local food production to meet the demands of both the large and smaller food buyers," said Bruce Mosley, President of the SCFA.
Establishing a local food hub could help increase market opportunity for produce from Simcoe County area farmers, strengthening the regional economy by allowing them to meet the demands of large and small food buyers in their vicinity. The resulting potential for job creation and reduced food transportation could help sustain farm production in the area and have a positive long-term impact on farm succession and land use.
This Harper Government investment is being provided through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a five-year (2009-2014), $163-million initiative that aims to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. In Ontario, the regional component of CAAP is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC).
For more information on CAAP, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/caap.